Ask anyone who has ever pulled into their driveway late at night to find that their garbage cans have been turned into a raccoon buffet: those little furry creatures are capable of scrounging themselves a meal. But this video of an adorable little fella named Rascal proves that when it comes to finding food, raccoons are way more sophisticated than we might have realized, because they are capable of solving puzzles to get themselves a tasty treat.
This clip, that we came across at Laughing Squid, comes from BBC One's series Animals Unexpected. They set up an obstacle course for Rascal made up of blocked and locked doorways of growing complexity, each with a piece of broccoli behind it. The challenge starts with a task as simple as a piece of wood that has to be slightly pushed out of the way, all the way up to a latch that couldn't actually be seen, requiring him to figure out how to open it only using his sense of touch.
Look at that Rascal go!
Raccoons, which are as smart as some monkeys, are capable of this kind of problem-solving thanks to the large number of sensory receptors in their paws. "The part of their brain that processes this information is larger than in most mammals," making them more adept at dealing with these types of obstacles. Don't we feel stupid. All of these years we expected a simple lid to stop them from feasting on our garbage.
What other challenge would you like to see a raccoon overcome? Rocket into our comments below and let us know.
Featured Image: BBC Earth Unplugged